Withdrawal of Bagbin’s military protection unconstitutional – Minority

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament has questioned the withdrawal of military personnel assigned to the Speaker of Parliament.

Rockson-Nelson-Dafeamekpor

According to them, the order by the Chief of Defence Staff to withdraw the personnel is unconstitutional.

In a statement on behalf of the Minority, the MP for South Dayi, Rockson Defeamekpor said the order has to be reversed immediately.

He said the content of the letter for the withdrawal of the military attached to the Speaker “is not only politico-legally offensive but also a vainglorious assault on Parliament as an Organ of State.”

“The letter is patent breach of Article 95(7) of the Constitution, 1992, and must be withdrawn with immediate effect,” he demanded.

A letter from the Ghana Armed Forces addressed to the Speaker said the officers were deployed without proper procedure.

READ HIS FULL STATEMENT BELOW

MILITARY LETTER TO SPEAKER IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

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I have read with great shock and trepidation, a certain letter purportedly written and signed by one Major-General N.P. Andoh, Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces & dated 11th January, 2022 which seeks to withdraw the military security detail of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. A.S.K. Bagbin.

The contents of the letter is not only politico-legally offensive but also a vainglorious assault on Parliament as an Organ of State. The letter is patent breach of Article 95(7) of the Constitution, 1992, and must be withdrawn with immediate effect.

The provisions of Articles 95(7) and 127(5) of the Constitution, 1992 provides clearly that the conditions of service of the Speaker and occupants of such independent Arms of Government, cannot be varied to their detriment while in office.

The letter claims, and falsely so, that the deployment of the said security details of the Rt. Hon. Speaker, did not follow proper procedure. This claim has since been proven as not only a lie but a wicked and deliberate fabrication meant to deceive the entire country and that is most unacceptable. In any serious democracy, the author of this letter would have resigned or be sacked as a consequence of this contrary revelations.

The facts as we have gathered in this matter so far are that, sometime in or about 18th January, 2021, Parliament wrote a letter signed by the Clerk to Parliament Lawyer Cyril K. O. Nsiah, indicating that the established convention was followed and an official request made to the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces to provide security attachment to the Speaker as has been the established protocol.

In a subsequent letter dated, 21st January 2021, intituled: Re: Request for attachment of military personnel as security detail of the Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament, the Clerk to Parliament’s request was simply for the replacement of one S/Sgt Adekurah Andrew with S/Sgt Apugiba Awine David. This completely established that the right procedure was followed for the assignment of these security men to the Office of the Speaker of Parliament of Ghana.

The present directive by the Military High Command is patently unconstitutional and must therefore never be allowed to stand for a minute. The directive actually amounts to varying the conditions of service of the serving Rt. Hon. Speaker to his detriment. The significance of these security personnel in the provision of safety and security to the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament cannot be overemphasized. Their unlawful withdrawal with the wave of a certain army general’s pen constitutes an actual interfere in the performance of the Rt. Hon. Speaker and Parliament itself and same must not be countenanced. Indeed, it’s such a whimsical interference with our Constitutional order. No army man must be powerful enough to give such a directive.

The Executive may not like the present occupant of the office of Speakership of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana but we must be careful the kind of precedents we set. We must stop interfering with institutions of state for Ghana is not a One-Party State.

The Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces must, with immediate effect, and reassure Parliament and the office of the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the continued needed security protection at a time that this is much needed. This is a serious matter that has the potential to adversely affect parliamentary affairs in the coming days.

Signed:

Rockson-Nelson E.K. Dafeamekpor Esq.

MP, South Dayi.

Member: Const., Legal & Parliamentary Affairs Committee

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